Monthly Archives: July 2013

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

house cleaningHere’s a punch list of summer home maintenance tips, tailor-made for New England homeowners.

If you’d rather hit the beach than the hardware store, call a pro before those small repairs balloon into bigger expenses. Angie’s List is a good resource or ask for referrals from a friend or neighbor.

Inside…
Air Conditioners
• Clear the air: Dirt and dust force air conditioners to work harder, waste energy and jack up your electricity bill
• Change your AC filters monthly, especially if you have allergy sufferers at home. If not, it’s fine to change filters once every three months
• Leaves and other debris from outside condensers can block air flow; clean them out of vents

Attic
• Clear attic vents of insect and animal nests or other debris
• Make sure vents and attic exhaust fans are in good working order
• Take a good look at your roof line: Check for leaks on rafters and insulation caused by loose or missing flashing

Basement /Cellar
• Check for and seal cracks, repair leaks in walls and floors
• If you have one, make sure your bulkhead entrance is free from leaves and other debris; sweep and repair cellar stairs, paint or re-paint metal bulkhead doors with rust-resistant metal paint
• Check and clean vents and basement windows
• If you have a sump pump, test, clean and lubricate it. If your pump has a backup battery, make sure it’s charged and replace it if necessary
• Sweep floors, toss out junk and other unused items you haven’t touched in two years or so. Click here to read our blog post on a room-by-room guide on how to declutter your home.
• Organize a giant yard sale with friends and neighbors to raise money for a good cause or your local school

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
• Test and replace batteries

Windows & Doors
• Clean windows inside and out with this chemical-free, green cleaner: newspapers and a solution of water and white vinegar will make glass sparkle. For more green cleaning tips, click here or, for something a little more official, the EPA’s website
• If you have older windows and doors, add putty, caulk or weather-stripping where needed
• Clean and install screens for windows and doors

Outside…
Exterior Walls & Walkways
• Check and repair missing or loose siding or shingles
• Caulk joints and cracks to prevent seepage from winter water damage
• Touch up wood finishes damaged by wet winter weather
• Touch-up painting or re-paint exterior siding and shingles
• Repair crumbling or missing bricks and mortar from walls and walkways

Exterior Plumbing
• Check and turn on outside spigots, sprinkler system and other outside water lines
• Check, connect garden hoses

Grill
• Click here to read our post about grill safety
• Check fuel lines and replace propane tank if needed
• Tired of lugging propane tanks—and of running out of fuel when you need it? Hire a plumber to run a grill gas line

Gutters
• Get the gloves out: Clean out those gutters; hire a pro to clean hard-to-reach places
• Check and repair damage and leaks from winter storms
• Hate cleaning gutters? Installing gutter guards may be a worthwhile splurge

Porches, Patios and Decks
• Powerwash, seal wood decks
• Check wood for rot, replace and seal damaged boards

Roof
• Repair damaged soffit panels and flashing
• Repair, replace damaged or lost shingles

Headquartered in Boston, Bunker Hill Insurance provides home insurance to customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bunker Hill is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in homeowner’s and auto insurance throughout the northeast.